Chef Paul takes tastes from his travels online for home cooks

Paul Watters, a former chef at the iconic Savoy Hotel in London and Australia’s Sydney Opera House, is providing the growing numbers of home cooks here with online guidance on how to rustle up a range of tasty meals.

Saturday, 13th November 2021, 5:00 pm

A native of Northern Ireland, Paul is a much travelled and widely experienced chef over the past 30 years. Now back home in the city where he grew up, Paul is using a dedicated hub on social media site Facebook and a blog to offer the public and home cooks in particular access to his vast expertise of meal preparation, ingredients especially from local sources and culinary techniques.

Cooking has always been the biggest passion of mine, and having discovered it at the age of 16 I’ve never really considered any other professional path for Paul is also taking questions from readers about how to cook specific dishes at an affordable price,” he explains.

“My aim was to develop an interactive site has been successful. I am more than happy to assist. To me personally a simple ability to be helpful, to have purpose is incredibly important. We’ve seen a huge increase in people cooking at home during the pandemic and since it eased.

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Paul shows home cooks how to prepare tasty meals

“It’s my hope that we will come out of this pandemic as a kinder and stronger community; a better place to live and work and to bring up a family. I look forward to getting back to normality as we know it as soon as possible: seeing smiles on people’s faces whenever you show them how to cook amazing food and how to enjoy the whole process is the greatest reward.

“I do believe we can all play our part in helping each other to get through these difficult times with honour and grace, and that we can finally learn to appreciate what we had and what we have in our lives at present time.”

He is passionate in particular about local ingredients and uses his social media channel to promote the very best local food and drink.

“We are fortunate in myself,” he explains. “I have been incredibly fortunate to have worked in highly regarded restaurants such as those in the Savoy in London and Australia’s famed Sydney Opera House.”

Online chef Paul Watters from Belfast has a global audience

He completed his initial culinary qualifications on courses at the former College of Business Studies in Belfast’s Brunswick Street before gaining experience in local restaurant kitchens and then “travelling the world to expand my knowledge”.

“I was able to experience and enjoy exciting cultures and different cuisines. I’ve also met so many fantastic chefs and learned a huge amount from each of them about cooking and preparing ingredients. Therefore, I sincerely hope that my Facebook followers here and increasingly around the world will get to appreciate and love working with food and all the aspects connected to it the way I do,” he says. 

Paul’s decision to launch his online cookery school was motivated by the coronavirus pandemic and associated lockdowns which paused his career in the kitchen and those of other chefs throughout the British Isles and other parts of Europe.

The lockdowns, he continues, were “traumatic for so many chefs as well as the wider community”.

“Working from home just wasn’t possible for me in my current role as a contract chef. And, of course, for most chefs and kitchen staff here. It was sad that hospitality was expected to take so much of the pain of the lockdowns. A number of restaurants subsequently closed and others are still operating to limited hours.

“I thought it would be nice then to give something back to the people across the world in terms of a little bit of my knowledge and love of great food by launching my ‘school’ on Facebook, which I named Simple, Tasty, Healthy by PW, because this is the type of meals that I’ve been featuring since the launch,” adds Paul.

The initiative proved an outstanding success, attracting ‘students’ from across the world. “It enables me to share all aspects connected with cooking and food appreciation. The content currently ranges from soups to curries and salads to steaks,” he explains.

“It’s great having access to some wonderful food grown and produced by dedicated people in many regions of Northern Ireland. We’ve great meat,

superb seafood, excellent dairy in terms of milk, butter, cheese and yoghurt, healthy vegetables and a wide range of other food products. I use my cookery columns to extol the premium quality and outstanding of healthy and nutritious food from here.”

He’s deeply appreciative of the enthusiastic support from wife Jenya and his parents in Belfast.

“I am very grateful for having such amazing people in my life. They’ve helped me in developing a successful career. I’ve been able to count on them especially when times are extremely intense in the kitchen.”

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